HOUSTON, Texas — Opposing views on the issue of border security and open borders engaged in a standoff of words outside the Houston office of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). The groups were as opposite on the issues as they were the side of the street where they stood. Pro-Amnesty groups supporting an expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) stood on the side opposite Senator Cruz’s Houston district office while border security activists stood on the side closest to his office. Houston Police patrol officers, almost outnumbering the protesters, were on hand to make sure both groups remained separated. After about a half hour of protests, members of the Pro-Amnesty groups met inside with the staff of Sen. Cruz.
Both groups were about equal in size with about 20 or so protesters on each side of the street. Chants from each side could be heard up and down the street. As usually is the case in Houston, the protesters remained peaceful.
Javier, a young man who entered the United States illegally at the age of seven, told Breitbart Texas he wants to see DACA expanded to include the parents of the children who received the benefit of President Obama’s executive action. When asked why the parents who chose to enter the country illegally should receive the same benefit as children who came here through no fault of their own, he seemed at a loss for words. In the video below you can see him struggle to try and remember the talking points he was apparently given by organizers.
One of the organizers, Cesar Espinoza, Executive Director of FIEL Houston, a pro-immigration group, told Breitbart Texas his protest organizers were going to meet with Sen. Cruz’s staff to remind the Senator he was an immigrant himself despite the fact that Cruz is a U.S. Citizen by birth and not an immigrant at all. He responded to a question about border security by saying, “Any nation should have a secure border but it doesn’t mean that you should shut off the border.”
He went on to explain, “If anything we should fix our broken immigration system to allow people to migrate. We see that there are a lot of people migrating because there is a need for them to work in the fields.” He also agreed with Javier that DACA should be expanded to include family members.
David Sawyer, Houston District Director for Sen. Cruz told Breitbart Texas before the protest that he would be meeting with the protesters. About six protesters proceeded upstairs to the Senator’s office after about a half-hour of protesting and media interviews.
Speaking as one of the counter-protesters, Derrick Covaco, a conservative activist told Breitbart Texas the border must be secured before any talks can be moved forward on the issue of immigration reform. He said the other side believes that anybody should be able to come to America for any reason. “We’re here to say that we don’t believe in that racist policy,” Covaco said. “We don’t believe that because you come from a certain country, or you have a certain skin color, that you should be put at the front of the line. We believe in our legal immigration system and enforcing the laws to bring people here that we choose that will flourish here and that will help our country.”
As for reforming the immigration system, Covaco said, “We can’t even begin to have this conversation until our border is secured. Until we have a fence, drones, and people on the ground, like every other country in this world – knowing who is coming across our border – on the ground, above the ground or under the ground, we can’t begin that conversation.”
He said that once the border is secured we can begin to have a discussion about how we are not going to have these problems in the future.
The protest continued through the busy downtown Houston lunch-hour with many business people stopping to wonder what was going on.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.